State of the Journal 2018

      HeartRhythm had another strong year thanks to our authors, editors, reviewers, the Heart Rhythm Society leadership, and journal staff. The journal developed new initiatives to facilitate online usage. This effort is led by Online Editor Daniel P. Morin, MD, MPH, FHRS, who selects an article from each issue and interviews one of the authors about the work. The Featured Article Author Interview is available on the journal website ( along with another new initiative, a monthly podcast from me that is a roughly 30-minute summary of the entire issue of the journal. The podcast is available in both English and Mandarin. I want to thank the Mandarin-speaking postdoctoral research fellows in my laboratory for taking turns to do the translation. If resources are available, we might translate the podcast into additional languages. The journal has increased its presence on social media and has two Twitter accounts: @hrs_journal tweets interesting contents from the published work and @DrPengShengChen tweets article titles as soon as they are accepted. The HeartRhythm app is constantly being updated. To download the app, search “HeartRhythm” (one word, no space) in the Apple or Google app store. The multimedia tab on the menu will lead users to the author interviews and podcast. The total online usage of the journal has seen a significant increase over the past several years. We want to make sure that trend continues.
      The journal has a large number of submissions, at around 1600 per year. Roughly 25% of all submitted articles are published, but the acceptance rate varies depending on the article category. The total number of citations has increased significantly over the past years (Figure 1). According to, HeartRhythm was the most frequently cited arrhythmia subspecialty journal in each of the past 10 years. The total citations first exceeded 10,000 in 2013 and have increased to 10,689, 11,287, and 12,033 in 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively. The Eigenfactor score (which rates the total importance of a scientific journal) increased to 0.03434, which ranked 13th among 126 cardiovascular journals and 1st among arrhythmia-focused journals in 2016. The Impact Factor in 2016 increased to 4.866.
      One of the most remarkable statistics is the dedication of the HeartRhythm reviewers. Editorial board members completed reviews in 7.9 days, on average. Our 4 statistical editors reviewed an average of 25 manuscripts each. Of the remaining board members, 42 reviewed more than 10 manuscripts each for the journal last year. We have designated 110 reviewers as “active reviewers” to reduce the workload of the board members and expand member participation in the journal. The average review time for active reviewers is 9.5 days. The remaining reviewers have an average review time of 12 days. The time from submission to first decision varies according to article category, but the overall average was 11.8 days in 2015 and 11.4 days in 2016.
      The journal conducted a reader survey last year. We received a number of excellent comments that will help us improve the journal. The most popular categories of articles included original clinical research and Josephson and Wellens ECG Lessons. We mourn the loss of Mark Josephson, MD, in 2017, but we are grateful that Hein Wellens, MD, has agreed to continue providing ECG tracings for publication in the journal. T. Jared Bunch, MD, has started a monthly EP News column to highlight the most interesting articles published in HeartRhythm Case Reports, for which he serves as Editor-in-Chief. HeartRhythm Case Reports has published nearly 400 articles since 2015 and is searchable within PubMed Central.
      I would like to thank Dr Douglas P. Zipes and Mrs M. Joan Zipes for sponsoring the Joan and Douglas P. Zipes Publication of the Year Award and Medtronic Inc. for sponsoring the Outstanding Publication Awards for Young Electrophysiologists. Finally, I would like to thank Jane Grochowski, Lori Monteleone, Brianna Gallagher, Kristin D. Murray, and Jennifer Brown for their support and for the data quoted in this document.